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PROMINENT UNIV. OF MEMPHIS SPONSOR TIC-ED OFF AT COACH
Published June 4, 1998
TN-based AutoZone, a "prominent and longtime corporate partner" of the Univ. of Memphis (UM) athletic department, "has raised concerns" with UM AD R.C. Johnson over Advance Auto Parts' use of UM men's basketball coach Tic Price in its advertising, according to Zack McMillin of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. A "main competitor" to AutoZone, VA- based Advance Auto Parts is using Price's likeness on billboards and in a new TV spot. AutoZone spokesperson Eric Epperson said the company reminded Johnson of its "strong" support of the UM basketball program and "left it at that." AutoZone also sponsored Price's TV coaches show this past season. Johnson said that he has spoken to Price about the conflict, adding that there is an NCAA policy requiring coaches to clear endorsements with their AD: "All coaches must get prior approval. It's a relatively new (NCAA) policy. Tic was not aware of it." Price said that he "wouldn't have done" the Advance ads if he had been aware of the new NCAA policy (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/3).